Pyelonephritis – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Pyelonephritis – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Pyelonephritis is a serious kidney infection . This causes the kidneys to swell and become permanently damaged. Pyelonephritis can be fatal. When repeated or persistent attacks occur, the condition is called chronic pyelonephritis . The chronic form is rare, but it occurs more often in children or people with urinary obstructions.

Pyelonephritis is a serious kidney infection that may require hospitalization. Common symptoms include a high fever, bloody or cloudy urine , and pain in the torso or groin. Pregnant women are at higher risk of pyelonephritis .

Symptoms of Pyelonephritis: Symptoms usually appear within two days of infection . Common symptoms of pyelonephritis  include:

  • A fever greater than 102°F (38.9°C)
  • Pain in the abdomen, back, side, or groin
  • Painful or burning urination
  • cloudy urine
  • Pus or blood in the urine
  • Urgent or frequent prayer
  • fish-smelling urine

Other symptoms of pyelonephritis can include:

  • Tremors or chills
  • Nausea
  • vomit
  • Headache or general illness
  • Fatigue
  • damp skin
  • Mental confusion

Symptoms can be different in children and older adults than they are in other people. For example, mental confusion is common in older adults and is often the only symptom of it. People with chronic skinonephritis may experience only mild symptoms, or they may not have any noticeable symptoms at all.

Causes of Pyelonephritis: The  infection usually starts in the lower urinary tract as a urinary tract infection . Bacteria enter the body through the urethra and begin to multiply and spread to the bladder. From there, the bacteria travel through the urethra to the kidneys .

Bacteria such as E. coli often cause the infection . However, any serious bloodstream infection can also spread to the kidneys and cause acute pyelonephritis .

Risk factors for pyelonephritis:

Acute Pyelonephritis: Any problem that interrupts the normal flow of urine causes an increased risk of acute pyelonephritis . For example, a urinary tract that is an unusual size or shape is more likely to lead to acute peleonephritis. Also, female urethras are much shorter than male ones, so it’s easier for bacteria to get into their bodies. This makes women more prone to kidney infections and puts them at greater risk for acute pyelonephritis .

  • Other people who are at increased risk include:
  • Anyone with chronic kidney stones or other kidney or bladder conditions
  • older adults
  • People with suppressed immune systems, such as people with diabetes, AIDS, or cancer
  • People with vesicoureteral reflux (a condition where small amounts of urine return from the bladder to the urethra and kidneys )
  • People with an enlarged prostate

Other factors that can make you vulnerable to infection include:

  • use of catheter
  • cystoscopic examination
  • urinary tract surgery
  • certain medications
  • Nerve or spinal cord damage

Chronic Pyelonephritis: Chronic forms of the condition are more common in people with urinary obstructions. These can be caused by UTIs, vesicoureteral reflux, or anatomical anomalies. Chronic pyelonephritis is more common in children than adults.

Diagnoses of Pyelonephritis: Diagnoses of Pyelonephritis can be made in the following ways:

Urine Tests: A doctor will check for fever, tenderness in the abdomen, and other common symptoms. If they suspect a kidney infection , they will order a urine test . This helps to check for bacteria, concentrations, blood and pus in the urine .

Imaging Tests: The doctor may also order X-rays or an ultrasound to look for cysts, tumors, or other obstructions in the urinary tract . In people who do not respond to treatment within 72 hours, a CT scan (with or without injectable ink) may be ordered. This test can also detect obstructions within the urinary tract .

Radioactive Imaging: A dimercaptosuccinic acid test may be ordered if your doctor suspects scarring as a result of pyelonephritis . This is an imaging technique that tracks an injection of radioactive material. A healthcare professional injects the material through a vein in the arm. The material then travels to the kidneys . Images taken as the radioactive material passes through the kidneys will show infected or scarred areas.

Pyelonephritis Treatments: Pyelonephritis Treatments canbe done in the following ways:

Pyelonephritis Antibiotics are the first course of action against acute pyelonephritis . However, the type of antibiotic your doctor chooses depends on whether or not the bacteria can be identified.

Otherwise, a broad-spectrum antibiotic will be used. Although the drugs can cure the infection within two to three days, the medication must be taken for the entire prescription period (typically 10 to 14 days). This is true even if you feel better.

Antibiotic options are:

  • levofloxacin
  • ciprofloxacin
  • cotrimoxazole
  • ampicillin

Hospital Admission: In some cases, drug therapy is ineffective. For a serious kidney infection , your doctor may admit you to the hospital. The length of your stay depends on the severity of your condition and how well you respond to treatment.

Treatment may include intravenous hydration and antibiotics for 24 to 48 hours. While you’re in the hospital, doctors will monitor your blood and urine to track down the infection . You will likely be given 10 to 14 days of oral antibiotics to take with you after you leave the hospital.

Surgery: Recurrent kidney infections can result from an underlying medical problem. In these cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any obstructions or to correct structural problems with the kidneys . Surgery may also be needed to drain an abscess that does not respond to antibiotics.

In cases of severe infection , a nephrectomy may be necessary. In this procedure, a surgeon removes a part of the kidney.

Complications of Pyelonephritis: A possible complication of acute pyelonephritis is chronic kidney disease. If the infection continues, the kidneys may be permanently damaged. Although rare, it is also possible for the infection to enter the bloodstream. This can result in apotentially deadly infection called sepsis.

Other complications include:

  • Recurrent kidney infections
  • The spread of infection to areas around the kidneys
  • acute renal failure
  • kidney abscess

Prevention of Pyelonephritis: Pyelonephritis can be a serious condition. Contact your doctor as soon as you suspect you have skin nephritis or UTI. This condition requires immediate medical attention, so the sooner you start treatment, the better.

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